COVID-19 and the resulting lockdowns have placed significant limitations on where we, as South Africans, can travel. It seems like the world is slowly adopting a strategy to 'live with COVID', something countries are all applying to various degrees.
As the vaccination drive ramps up across the world and in South Africa, we're able to visit more countries! Fully vaccinated South Africans who have been in South Africa for the past fourteen days can now travel to the below countries.
Entry Requirements: Fully vaccinated South Africans can again enter Mauritius from 6 January 2022. They simply need to present evidence of being fully vaccinated, have a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before departure and travel insurance that would cover quarantine and treatment for COVID if necessary. More information here.
Visa: South African passport holders do not need a visa for short stays.
Flights: Air Mauritius will likely resume services shortly.
*Last updated 7 January 2022
Entry Requirements: Fully vaccinated South Africans will again be allowed to enter the US from 31 December 2021 without the need to quarantine. In addition to needing to prove their vaccination status, passengers will also require a negative PCR test no older than 2 days before departure. Passengers are not allowed to commence their journeys before this date. More details here.
Visa: South Africans require a US visa in order to enter. There has been no update on the issuing of B1 B2 visas, although some report massive delays in appointments at the consulate. Luckily US tourism visas are usually valid for ten years.
Flights to NYC: Both United Airlines and Delta Airlines will resume direct flights to New York. Qatar and British Airways also offer more affordable options.
*Last updated 5 January 2022.
Entery Requirements:The UK has done away with all Covid-19 restrictions and travellers, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, no longer need to test or provide a passenger locator form. This became effective on 18 March 2022. More details here.
Visa: Visitors require a valid UK visa to enter.
Flights to LON: Qatar Airways, KLM, Air France & direct services by British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.
*Last updated 25 January 2022
Entry Requirements: Fully vaccinated South Africans can enter France with a negative PCR test no older than 48 hours along with providing proof of vaccination. More info here.
Visa: Schengen Visa - Capago is currently issuing French Schengen Visas, but expect delays.
Flights to PAR: Qatar Airways, KLM & Air France
France has done away with the Pass Sanitaire, but they do still require passengers to have a valid Travel Pass. This can be acquired when presenting proof of vaccination or a recently recovered certificate (meeting strict guidelines).
*Last updated 5 January 2022
Entry Requirements: From 18 December 2021 travellers who have been fully vaccinated can enter without quarantine requirement. They only need to upload proof of vaccination to Arrive CAN in order to enter. More info here.
Visa: A valid Canadian Visa is required.
Flights to YTO: KLM, United Airlines & Delta Airlines
*Last updated 5 January 2022
Entry Requirements: From 4 January 2022 all fully vaccinated South Africans can enter Germany without the need to quarantine. Passengers also require a negative PCR test no older than 72 hours at departure. Travellers need to complete this form and submit vaccination data. More info here.
Visa: Germany is issuing their own Schengen visas through TLS in South Africa.
Flights to FRA: Qatar Airways, Emirates & hopefully Lufthansa soon
*Last updated 5 January 2021
Entry Requirements: From 6 January 2022 all fully vaccinated South Africans can enter Seychelles. Besides proof of vaccination, visitors need a negative PCR test taken no longer than 72 hours before departure and travel insurance that would cover quarantine, isolation and treatment should it be required.
Visa: South African Passport holders do not require a visa to enter Seychelles.
Flights to SEZ: Air Seychelles
*Last updated 5 January 2021.
Entry Requirements: Fully vaccinated South Africans do not need to quarantine on arrival. Travellers do need to complete this health form.
Visa: South Africans require a visa. Egypt is issuing from their Embassy in Pretoria.
Flights to CAI: Ethiopian Airlines & Qatar Airways
*Last updated 3 Aug 2021
Entry Requirements: Travellers who have been fully vaccinated 14 days prior to arrival are exempt from test requirements and quarantine.
Visa: The Serbian consulate in Pretoria issues their Schengen Visas. Holders of a valid multiple-entry visa issued by Ireland, the United Kingdom, the United States, or any Schengen member state, are reportedly allowed 30 days of visa-free entry.
Flights to TGD: Qatar Airways & Air Serbia
*Last updated 3 Aug 2021.
Israel, Italy, Singapore, Netherlands, Spain (with quarantine), Botswana (soon to mandate vaccination for all travellers) and many more.
Entry Requirements: Passengers only need a negative PCR test no older than 96 hours before departure and a completed health declaration. Travellers will be limited to one resort per island and need to apply for a split-stay to be approved if desired. Fully vaccinated passengers do not require a negative PCR test as long as they have been vaccinated by a WHO approved vaccine at least 14 days before travel. Booster doses are not yet required. More info here.
Visa: Visa is issued on arrival and valid for 30 days.
Flights to MLE: Qatar Airways
Entry Requirements: Passengers only need a negative COVID PCR test no older than 72 hours and need to complete an online form at least 24 hours prior to arrival. They will also be subject to additional COVID screening upon arrival and might need to complete an antigen test.
Visa: No visa is required if travelling for leisure for stays up to 90 days.
Flights to DAR: Kenya Airways (which requires you to be fully vaccinated) & RwandAir
Algeria, DRC, Cote d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania and Uganda.
These rules and regulations are subject to change at any moment - therefore it is advisable to check on them at least three times. Once before booking, once before you visa application and finally right before departure.
Ensure you are aware of all the cancellation policies, especially if something is non-refundable.
Don't forget to check the airline requirements in addition to your final destination, especially if there is a stop-over involved.
If you present COVID symptoms, don't pass the screening or test positive for COVID you might still need to quarantine and postpone/ cancel or extend your trip. No airline will accept someone who they suspect has COVID.
In general all passengers above the age of 18 years old needs to be fully vaccinated in order to enter a country where vaccination is a requirement. Some countries may lower this age to 12 years. Travellers between the age of 5 -17 can usually accompany vaccinated adults by presenting a negative COVID PCR test no older than 72 hours. Please consult the requirements of your planned destination to confirm entry regulations for minors.
Whenever mention is made of "vaccines" it refers to an approved COVID-19 vaccine by either the WHO or the applicable country, depending on the entry regulations of the country you plan on visiting.
To be considered "fully vaccinated" passengers need to have received two doses of the applicable vaccine, or one Johnson & Johnson dose, at least 14 days prior to departure and be able to provide proof thereof.
South Africans are currently issued with a handwritten card as proof of vaccination, some countries might require this proof to be digital.
Passports still need to be valid for a minimum of three months upon return with two blank pages and passengers need to have valid visas.
All passengers require a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no longer than 72 hours before return to SA in order to enter the country.
Travel insurance does not cover mandatory tests and quarantine, although some policies might cover unexpected quarantine and tests if a passenger contracts COVID-19 or believes they might have.
Most countries still require travellers to wear masks and abide by social distancing guidelines despite their vaccination status.
* While we have endeavored to ensure all information is correct at the time of publication, it remains your responsibility to confirm this before booking. The more time that has passed since the information has last been updated, the more likely changes are.